Need Help with Kitchen Cabinet 'Door' Please - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 38 Old 04-11-2018, 08:42 PM Thread Starter
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Need Help with Kitchen Cabinet 'Door' Please

Hi All. I need some help and ideas on how to put a glass ‘door’ in front of an open kitchen cabinet above the top of the fridge (see attachment).

I have the skills and tools to make a simple face frame and route a groove in the back for standard plate glass, but I’m lacking in the ‘finer points’ skill area.

The reason why my BetterHalf wants this is so she doesn’t have to up there and dust and wash whatever is up there as often. So to me that means it should lay flat against the existing face frame. My problem here is how do I affix the glass so there’s no securing / fastening hardware sticking out the back? And still be easily replaced if necessary…

It will have to open from the bottom and swing upward to the open position. What’s a good way to hold it up? We have to use a step stool to get up there to open it, so something simple would be best.

Any ideas on what kind of wood it is? I know it’s not oak… maybe pine? I’m kind of thinking I can cut up a 2x4 to make the pieces but if it’s a recognizable wood, I’ll get that to match better.

I know next to zero on color matching and finishing. Going from memory I have used a Golden Oak Watco Danish Oil years ago that looks pretty close; does that sound about right? I guess the existing finish is a satin sheen as it’s not glossy at all. In DIY YouTube videos I see a wipe on polyurethane finish used a lot. Is that a good choice over the oil?

(The finishing technique is going to have, hopefully, a big secondary use in that this summer I’m planning on pulling all the doors off and drawers out and give a try at refinishing them. They are getting pretty scratched up after 30 years of use. I’ll probably start a thread when I do to ask things like should I get a sprayer or not, etc…)
.
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post #2 of 38 Old 04-11-2018, 08:58 PM
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I suggest you change your original thoughts on having one door that lifts up.
I don’t think you will like this. Door comes down too hard and breaks glass. Takes both hands to put or pull anything behind doors.
I suggest you consider two doors with glass inserts with handles/knobs in the center and hinges on each side. Start by adding a 1 1/2” piece to the right side as a frame extension. There is not enough frame to install two additional matching hinges on the right side as is.
Make two door frames and rabbet out the back side to insert your glass.

If you don't have time to do it right the first time, when will you have time to do it over?
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post #3 of 38 Old 04-11-2018, 09:26 PM
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There is all kinds of door lift systems. Perhaps one of these would work. https://www.wwhardware.com/cabinet-l...r-lift-systems

Your doors appear to be solid wood. In order to make a glass door you would need to make a frame door though.
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post #4 of 38 Old 04-11-2018, 09:27 PM
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There are little GLAZING POINTS that are used to hold the glass in the dado. They do not stick out in the back.

George
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post #5 of 38 Old 04-12-2018, 12:54 AM
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and the winner is ....

The OP said:
I have the skills and tools to make a simple face frame and route a groove in the back for standard plate glass, but I’m lacking in the ‘finer points’ skill area.

Toolman50 said:
Make two door frames and rabbet out the back side to insert your glass.

GeorgeC said:
There are little GLAZING POINTS that are used to hold the glass in the dado.

The correct term is RABBET!
Having settled that, any glass door will have some weight to it. Glass doors that tilt upwards will need to have the glass quite secure using a silicone bond in the rabbet. You don't want a loose pane that will rattle or drop out due to a failure of the fasteners. Gas piston door supports/struts will work to hold the door in a horizontal position. They will need to be appropriate for the weight of the door and width however, otherwise too much force will cause the frame to twist at the corners and possibly break the glass. Travel trailers and motor home often use tilt up doors for storage, check them out. A RV distributor may have the appropriate struts. RV shows are common in the early spring.

It appears that your opening has a frame around it now. This means there is a ledge extending all around the opening which may catch on the object being placed inside or moved, so be cautious. There is apparently a door on the right side of this opening hinged with surface mount hinges. You may not be able to match those hinges in your application so check that out. The wood does appear to be Pine as I see what looks like a knot. The Pine looks to be clear with few if any knots, so use that for your new frame.

If you take Toolmans suggestion, a good one, and use two hinged doors, that will solve some of the above issues, but there is another person's opinion which matters in this case.

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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post #6 of 38 Old 04-12-2018, 07:55 AM
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I prefer to install glass in a rabbet with wooden glass stop rather than other means. I've seen people set glass in with silicone or put caulk in behind it and it looks messy. There is always the potential of a piece of glass being broken so it needs to be easily removable.

Rabbits chew on everything. If you could just train one to chew the groove for doors the term rabbit would be appropriate.
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post #7 of 38 Old 04-12-2018, 08:30 AM
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In this situation, I'd probably start by pulling out the catalog of hinges and then reverse engineer from what I found available. I would just point out that the door hinge on the right is pretty close to the edge of the opening...any door would look like its crowding that hinge IMO.

Maybe get out the blender, raid the liquor cabinet and put those glasses to use until your better half forgets about the dusting...I see that as the best option.
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post #8 of 38 Old 04-12-2018, 08:53 AM
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I've installed a lot of kitchens and I em always used silicone sealer to secure glass in doors. As long as you can manage a caulk gun fairly well it looks fine. Never had a pane break, even down the road. If you had to replace it slice the silicone with a razor knife, not that difficult.
Mike Hawkins.
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post #9 of 38 Old 04-12-2018, 10:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Echo415 View Post

I would just point out that the door hinge on the right is pretty close to the edge of the opening...any door would look like its crowding that hinge IMO.
That’s why I suggested first adding a piece to the frame. (Extending the width of the frame by 1 1/2”). This will give the OP plenty of room to add two new hinges. There is already plenty of room on the left.

If you don't have time to do it right the first time, when will you have time to do it over?
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post #10 of 38 Old 04-12-2018, 03:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toolman50 View Post
That’s why I suggested first adding a piece to the frame. (Extending the width of the frame by 1 1/2”). This will give the OP plenty of room to add two new hinges. There is already plenty of room on the left.
Missed that on the first read...that would be a solution but I think it would be hard to get the joint tight enough so it didn't look like a mistake.

I'm a little crazy though...it's the little things that drive me nuts. I have a pull on my bathroom cabinet that is 1/8" off center and I cringe every time I look at it.
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post #11 of 38 Old 04-12-2018, 08:53 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toolman50 View Post
I suggest you change your original thoughts on having one door that lifts up.
I don’t think you will like this. Door comes down too hard and breaks glass. Takes both hands to put or pull anything behind doors.
I suggest you consider two doors with glass inserts with handles/knobs in the center and hinges on each side. Start by adding a 1 1/2” piece to the right side as a frame extension. There is not enough frame to install two additional matching hinges on the right side as is.
Make two door frames and rabbet out the back side to insert your glass.
I think I did a back flip when I read that. Yeah! Why not? I had to think 'long and hard' on why I'm thinking one raise up door… Then it hit me: that's what the wife suggested (read: wants). She even went so far as to call the local glass shop to see if they could make a frameless glass door. (They said yes, replete with hinges, a knob, and all. But when I went down there with exact measurements, they said "we don't do that… we just cut glass." )

I did try to persuade her into it, though. She was thinking about it then remembered 1) she wants it to go up so she doesn't have to clear off what-ever-is-there at the time on top of the fridge, and 2) she doesn't want the 'view' hidden with the center wood pieces in the way.

Oh well…
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post #12 of 38 Old 04-12-2018, 08:55 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Neul View Post
There is all kinds of door lift systems. Perhaps one of these would work. https://www.wwhardware.com/cabinet-l...r-lift-systems

Your doors appear to be solid wood. In order to make a glass door you would need to make a frame door though.
Some interesting, and expensive, gadgets there. I'm going to keep the link. I'll have to spend more time at the site, though.

Yes, it's solid wood.
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post #13 of 38 Old 04-12-2018, 08:57 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgeC View Post
There are little GLAZING POINTS that are used to hold the glass in the dado. They do not stick out in the back.

George
I haven't seen those in a while. But I do know what they are as I've replaced window glass in homes before (long ago).
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post #14 of 38 Old 04-12-2018, 09:12 PM
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Another consideration:
Sliding by-pass glass doors. Completely see through. Slides along a track at bottom and top.
No hinges at all.

If you don't have time to do it right the first time, when will you have time to do it over?
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post #15 of 38 Old 04-12-2018, 09:22 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodnthings View Post
…that are used to hold the glass in the dado.

The correct term is RABBET!
That applies to me, too, as I said I can make a 'groove,' when it's a rabbet, LOL.

Quote:
Having settled that, any glass door will have some weight to it. Glass doors that tilt upwards will need to have the glass quite secure using a silicone bond in the rabbet. You don't want a loose pane that will rattle or drop out due to a failure of the fasteners. Gas piston door supports/struts will work to hold the door in a horizontal position. They will need to be appropriate for the weight of the door and width however, otherwise too much force will cause the frame to twist at the corners and possibly break the glass. Travel trailers and motor home often use tilt up doors for storage, check them out. A RV distributor may have the appropriate struts. RV shows are common in the early spring.
I'm going to go with regular plate glass; I think that's 1/8". (9 5/8" x 34 1/2", BTW) So I'm thinking it won't be too heavy. Nice tip on RV stuff. There's a dealer not too far from me. I'll stop by the next time I'm out.

Quote:
It appears that your opening has a frame around it now. This means there is a ledge extending all around the opening which may catch on the object being placed inside or moved, so be cautious. There is apparently a door on the right side of this opening hinged with surface mount hinges. You may not be able to match those hinges in your application so check that out. The wood does appear to be Pine as I see what looks like a knot. The Pine looks to be clear with few if any knots, so use that for your new frame.
Yes, there's a frame there now. And a cabinet door on the right. Where the opening is now use to be cabinets with doors on them like the door on the right. They went down another foot or so. I had the bottom 'chopped' off to fit the 'new' fridge about 12 years ago. The space for the fridge was tiny, maybe for a 16 – 18 cu ft unit at best. I'll look locally for hinges. If I don't find any I'll go thru the 'gazillion' pages at Rockler.

Quote:
If you take Toolmans suggestion, a good one, and use two hinged doors, that will solve some of the above issues, but there is another person's opinion which matters in this case.
Yeah… the boss', LOL. If it were just me, I'd go the two door route.
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post #16 of 38 Old 04-12-2018, 09:24 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Steve Neul View Post
I prefer to install glass in a rabbet with wooden glass stop rather than other means. I've seen people set glass in with silicone or put caulk in behind it and it looks messy. There is always the potential of a piece of glass being broken so it needs to be easily removable.

Rabbits chew on everything. If you could just train one to chew the groove for doors the term rabbit would be appropriate.
By wooden stop, is that to say something like 1/4" round molding or the like?
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post #17 of 38 Old 04-12-2018, 09:30 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Echo415 View Post
In this situation, I'd probably start by pulling out the catalog of hinges and then reverse engineer from what I found available. I would just point out that the door hinge on the right is pretty close to the edge of the opening...any door would look like its crowding that hinge IMO.

Maybe get out the blender, raid the liquor cabinet and put those glasses to use until your better half forgets about the dusting...I see that as the best option.
I think I'll stay with store bought hinges, but I kind of like the idea of making my own device to hold the door up.

Just maybe I'll dust off the bottle of booze and give it a try; I've had it for only about 4-5 years now! But a margarita does sound good right about now…
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post #18 of 38 Old 04-12-2018, 09:32 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by firehawkmph View Post
I've installed a lot of kitchens and I em always used silicone sealer to secure glass in doors. As long as you can manage a caulk gun fairly well it looks fine. Never had a pane break, even down the road. If you had to replace it slice the silicone with a razor knife, not that difficult.
Mike Hawkins.
My caulking looks like a kid drawing on the wall with a crayon, LOL. I'm not that bad, but being on the inside, no one would see it so I'm kind of safe in that area (not including the pride of workmanship aspect).
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post #19 of 38 Old 04-12-2018, 09:36 PM
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Consider Euro hinges if you don't want, or can't use standard hinges. They are virtually hidden and can be used in a variety of ways. Blum has a vast array of sizes and styles that will do just about anything you want. If you do go with a lift up arrangement (in addition to opening hardware) you might consider using soft closers to help dampen the potential slam. Others have figured the glass out to a tee.

https://www.blum.com/us/en/

On edit: A few posts came in before mine. Euro hinges are pretty much considered "store bought" today.

Another $000,000,000.02 worth of advice,
Mark

Last edited by Shop_Rat; 04-12-2018 at 09:38 PM.
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post #20 of 38 Old 04-12-2018, 09:36 PM
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By wooden stop, is that to say something like 1/4" round molding or the like?
Yes but depending on the jamb the stop can vary from 1/4" to 1/2" thick. Some jambs the stop is just nailed on and some of them it's all one piece of wood. They just rabbet the jamb for the door.
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